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When the last round of the Rainbow Nations Cup kicked off on Saturday between the Sharks and the Blue Bulls in Durban, both sides had a shot at the North v South Final, to be played in Italy this weekend. The Sharks needed to grab a full house (5) log points to topple the log leading Bulls. Whilst the men from Pretoria needed a sole bonus point to snap up their seat on the plane.

In a tight encounter, the Bulls ultimately came out on top, winning the game 34 - 22. The Sharks were much improved from their last match against the Bulls, when their forward pack was heavily outmuscled. However a try from Cornal Hendricks in the 2nd half and a few Curwin Bosch errors, turned the tide in the Bulls favor and the Sharks were left to rue their missed opportunities.

Siya Kolisi scored his first try for his new side, despite an eager cross cover tackle from Morne Steyn almost taking him into touch. The Springbok players in the South African franchises continue to look in good form with Lukhanyo Am brushing off Marco van Staden and strong showings from Morne, Siya, Trevor and new recruit Aphelele Fassi. Other Bok players were unavailable due to rest protocols.

Marcell Coetzee also got through a solid shift in the 8 jersey due to the injury enforced absence of captain, Duane Vermeulen, keeping his side calm in the face of massive attacking pressure. Cornal Hendricks also continues to impress and a delighted man he was after packing down at flank and helping his forwards win a scrum penalty.

At the present moment, every major trophy in South Africa rests in Pretoria with the Super Rugby Restart, Currie Cup, Rainbow Nations Cup and Franchise preparation series all having been won in the last year. In addition to this, the University of Pretoria won the Varsity Cup.

The Bulls will now head off to Italy to face off in a North v South final against Benneton Treviso, after they were crowned champions this weekend, when their final clash against Ospreys was cancelled due to a Covid-19 outbreak. The same fate suffered by the Stormers and Lions, as the Lions camp identified a positive case. The Bulls will however be without their Springboks, as the National side heads into its preparation bubble ahead of the British & Irish Lions tour.

Even without the Springboks available, the Bulls head into Saturdays final as favorites after their strong form this season and great squad depth. Whatever the outcome, Saturday marks the first time that South African & European club sides clash for silverware as the Guinness Pro14 Rainbow Nations Cup comes to an end in the final.

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